ABC launches ‘unlocked’ streaming channels in major markets and revamps its website

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ABC has announced what it calls “unlocked” streaming channels, including localized channels in major markets where it has a station.

The network’s website, ABC.com, has also been revamped to better showcase these offerings.

The new 24-hour streams are available for free with no login required, the network announced on June 30, 2022.

There are also no geolocation requirements; in fact, ABC’s ad emphasizes that viewers can experience news from across the country. The streams are also available to those who live outside of one of the eight markets in which the network has stations.

However, in markets where the local ABC affiliate is not owned by the network, the streaming availability of local content varies.

Local feeds are filled with simulcasts of local news when available, with other content such as documentaries or similar programs filling the time in between.

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While ABC-owned stations have been streaming content for some time, this rollout appears to be helping users better access offers and bring home the point where they’re unlocked.

In fact, the word “unlocked” now features prominently in the titles of the revamped ABC.com website and mobile and connected TV apps, which now have a heavy emphasis on streaming.

An updated interface features labels that say “unlocked” on content thumbnails to guide viewers to what’s available without logging in, including streams from owned stations.

While “Unlocked TV” may be a generic term for channels available for free without a connection such as TV Everywhere, it appears that ABC is trying to use the term as a branding element, having developed a logo for it.

This look is a condensed sans with a red outer glow. The far left and right are slightly distorted by vertical bursts of light, which could be read as layers of connections being peeled away. In addition to the color version, there is also a monochrome version of the design.

The thumbnails for each local feed have notably all been switched to the new ABC globe and, where applicable, the flatter Circle 7 logo, even in markets where the station has not fully switched over, such as Chicago’s WLS.

ABC Chicago’s WX Graphics, First Element of New Group Design Mandate

Typography is also defined in Proxima, which NewscastStudio says should become a standard font option at owned stations once a planned graphics mandate is fully rolled out.

ABC offers local streaming channels in the eight markets where it has a station: New York (WABC), Los Angeles (KABC), Chicago (WLS), Philadelphia (WPVI), Bay Area (KGO), North Carolina (WTVD ), Houston (KTRK) and Central California (KFSN).

Also featured are two new channels from the National Geographic Network, which is owned by ABC’s parent company Disney, “Pets & Vets” and “Investigates,” which offer a range of linear-style content centered on animals and the real world, respectively. criminal content. There are also curated collections, such as “20 20/20s”.

There’s also tight integration with ABC News Live, Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ on ABC.com, with the homepage essentially becoming a content hub available for free without signing in, free with signing in, or under a paid subscription model. .

The design approach should be familiar to anyone familiar with the interactive or streaming user interfaces of today’s linear television with its mix of portrait and landscape thumbnails featuring screenshots of key content or artwork , often displayed in a carousel style.

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